Ross’s Gull: this little beauty makes even gulls seem sexy!

Ross's Gull, Kinsale, Co. Cork

Ross’s Gull, Kinsale, Co. Cork

For many a budding birder, myself included,  gulls can be an absolute nightmare!

There’s just so much plumage variation across the different year classes, and lots of potential overlap between species in sub-adult gulls that accurate identification can be extremely taxing, and scanning gull roosts in (inevitably) low light in an attempt to pick out something different soon becomes odious.

But this weekend I twitched a bird that it has to be said, makes gulls seem “sexy”.

This little Ross’s gull — a rare vagrant from the high Arctic — has been hanging around Kinsale, Co. Cork for two weeks now. I dipped (failed to see) it a week ago with Galley Birding. So yesterday, when opportunity knocked, I suggested Kinsale for a family afternoon drive, and while my better half took the girls around the galleries and shops, I made a beeline for the pier by the Trident Hotel, one of the gull’s favoured haunts.

After a tense half-hour or so scanning passing gulls, bingo! There it was… flying right overhead in all it’s peachy-pink glory! What a super little bird… even if it is a gull!

About Calvin Jones

Calvin Jones is a freelance writer, author, birder and lifelong wildlife enthusiast. He is founder and managing editor of He is also the tour leader and wildlife guide on our West Cork based Discover Wildlife tours.
Calvin is also co-author of bestselling digital marketing titles and offers digital business consulting services and training through Digital Marketing Success


  1. Superb selection of images, a gorgeous wee Gull

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